Friday, November 30, 2012

a new address

So, I have a new baby. Not a human baby, whoa there, although I am completely addicted to One Born Every Minute but that's another story. No, my new baby is in fact a new blog, which is not to say that I will be abandoning Harriet at any point, although bless her she's been left to her own devices for quite some time. My new blog is about homes and why they are not just houses. My home, maybe even your home. I saw many people's houses in this past year, while I was writing a weekly Home feature for the Herald, and I waited on the threshold of each house with that same feeling of excitement and anticipation of what I would find when the owner opened their front door. Mostly I found not just a house, but a home, but the recipe for what made that difference was never precisely the same. I saw beautiful homes and met beautiful people, and the experience has inspired me to keep opening new doors. Please come and visit me here and let me know what you think. If you send me some happy home snaps I might even come and visit you!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

no longer necessary

Redundant is not a pretty word. It conjures up others, like outdated, unwanted, archaic, obsolete, surplus. to. requirements. It used to be my job to think of several different words to describe the same thing. My sixth class teacher Mr Snape clearly had a premonition of this, since he awarded me a Collins Thesaurus (yes, a real book made out of paper in which to look up synonyms, since we're on the subject of redundant) as part of my prize for being dux of the school. It was not a very big school, I hasten to add, but a small victory is still a victory and there were few to be had once I started high school. I guess I have Mr Snape to thank for starting me on the path to journalism. Who knew that would turn out so well? I don't wish to wallow in my status as ''redundant'', and apart from the odd, brief wave of panic and self-pity I haven't been. It has forced me to put in place a few streamlining measures of my own, in fact. Turns out there are quite a few redundant factors in my life, starting with five garbage bags of toys that were recently deposited in a local charity bin. There are also several pieces of furniture but they're not so easy to throw in the back of the car so they're in limbo at present. The reading of local newspapers? Redundant. The wearing of shoes other than rubber thongs? Redundant. And I've freed up huge amounts of room in the cavernous storage compartment between the two front seats of my car. This was once filled with coins to feed hungry parking meters. These days it's more likely to feed hungry children ice cream from the drive-through on the way home from school. So I like to think I've turned the whole redundancy thing on its head. A bit like all those hip young things who I believe are called ''slashies'' because they don't like to be pigeonholed into one vocation. They're IT specialists/film directors/burger salesmen, or something like that. They don't get sacked from anything, because they get in first. They're all, "You're fired as my boss because I can do SOOO much better than this job". Or something like that. I won't ever be a slashie, of course. And I'm not looking for the next big thing. I'm just trying to get by on the little things for now. Like the dog-eared Collins Thesaurus that gave my 12-year-old self such hope for the future.